Hearts, Kotoko Misery To Deepen
The first half of this year’s Premier League season comes to a close on Sunday in what will go down in memory as the most turbulent moment for Ghana’s two soccer giants, Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak.
Both Hearts and Kotoko have become so vulnerable at home, with Hearts losing as many as four home matches, denting an unrivalled home record built over many years, while their arch rivals, Asante Kotoko, a far cry of the once indomitable soccer powerhouse, are placed third from the bottom.
As the smaller clubs breath hard down their necks in a bid to end the Hearts-Kotoko hegemony, the only reprieve in sight will be the three-week recess which follows the end of the first round on Sunday, to revamp their teams for the second round.
With the second window of registration still open until December 15, the expectant large following of the two giants anticipate a great opportunity to sign new limbs to strengthen key areas of their teams in readiness for the second round of the competition.
But before that, Kotoko will have to contend with another threat to their image from Wa All Stars who, until recent weeks, had remained one of the stubborn sides of the league before they were overtaken by internal problems.
Indeed Kotoko’s misery this season has been compounded by a poor home output and on many occassions have struggled to contain their opponents.
Clubs like Kessben, Edubiase and Chelsea came to Kumasi this season and cheekily ‘captured’ the porcupine at their Baba Yara stronghold.
Strangely, each Kotoko engagement at the Baba Yara Stadium has become a veritable disaster, and on Sunday coach Bogdan Korak will attempt to revive his ailing record of one draw from four matches.
But Hearts’ troubles could be worsened as they make a difficult journey to Tamale to face another tottering side.
With Hearts’ CEO, Fred Crentsil, yesterday affirming confidence in coach Paa Kwesi Fabin, Hearts will have to conjure another rare moment of magic with a team that lacks lustre and inspiration to make the desire impact on the game.
Last Sunday the likes of Bobie Ansah, Edwin Osei Pele and Moro Abubakari proved beyond doubt that they lack the capacity to be in the shoes of Samuel Afum and Mahatma Otoo who made Hearts an exciting side last season and for the first time gave victory to Arsenal at the Ohene Djan Stadium.
Their output last Sunday cast dark clouds over their clash with RTU on Sunday.
In the rest of the pairings, Kessben will be at home to Faisal at the Sekondi Sports Stadium, Essipong, Arsenal host Aduana at the Berekum Golden City Park, Edubiase face Lions at Kpando, Ashgold welcome B.A Stars to the Len Clay Stadium, Obuasi, Mighty Jets play Chelsea at the Ohene Djan Stadium, while Dwarfs are guests of Liberty at the Carl Reindorf Park, Dansoman.